John Keats
When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be (1848)

 

When I have fears that I may cease to be

 

Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,

 

Before high piled books, in charact’ry,

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Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;

 

When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,

 

Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,

 

And think that I may never live to trace

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Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

 

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!

 

That I shall never look upon thee more,

 

Never have relish in the faery power

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Of unreflecting love!--then on the shore

 

Of the wide world I stand alone, and think

 

Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.